Week 13 DraftKings Tournament Pivots
In daily fantasy football tournaments, you don't want to use the same guys everyone else is playing. You need to be different. You need to be contrarian.
Throwing chalk plays into a tournament lineup can sometimes work, but it's also important to know which players to pivot to, or use instead of the popular, chalky option. Let's take a look at the Week 13 slate with a list of pivot options.
Chalk: Cam Newton, $7,400, at New Orleans Saints
It’s the worst kept secret in daily fantasy right now: start the quarterback facing the New Orleans Saints. After getting gashed for 14 passing touchdowns in a three week span before their bye week, the cat was out of the bag.
Now, I’m not going to say the Saints are going to shut down Cam Newton, but Dennis Allen has definitely made some tweaks to this secondary during the bye week which resulted in their lowest passing yards allowed last week (205). And they were able to keep one of the league’s best premier wide receivers in check (DeAndre Hopkins 5 receptions for 36 yards – both season lows).
Newton should be fine, don't get me wrong, but his ownership is also going to be ultra high. That's a good enough reason to fade in tournaments.
Pivot: Andy Dalton, $6,400, at Cleveland Browns
I’m not sure why Andy Dalton isn't getting any love this week. Sure, he hasn’t exactly set the NFL on fire since his bye week -- just one 300-yard passing game -- but his last two games definitely show some promise. In those contests, he threw for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns against a tough Arizona Cardinals secondary (in Arizona) -- a secondary that ranks ninth best against the pass, according to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. He then followed up this performance with a 233-yard, 3-touchdown day against a St Louis Rams defense which ranks third best in the league per NEP.
Not too shabby.
This week, he faces a Browns secondary that has allowed 12 passing touchdowns over their last four games. They also rank 22nd against the pass according to our numbers. Give me the Red Rifle this week.
Chalk: DeAngelo Williams, $5,600, at Pittsburgh Steelers
This really all comes down to whether or not Ben Roethlisberger plays, which it's looking like he will. It's clear the Steelers don't trust Landry Jones throwing the ball. When Jones is under center, the Steelers run the ball 20% more than when Roethlisberger is. Even still, Williams should have high ownership numbers, making him harder to play in tournaments.
Pivot: Charcandrick West, $5,200, at Oakland Raiders
Week 6. That's the last time a Chiefs running back failed to reach the end zone. 71% of all Chief touchdowns this season have come from a running back either running one in or in the form of a deep down-the-field bomb from the gunslinger himself, Alex Smith. (Please take note of my sarcasm about Alex Smith’s passing tendencies.)
Regardless, the Chiefs have a Vegas implied point total of 23 this weekend. While the Raiders run defense has run hot and cold all season, they find themselves ranked 26th against the run according to NEP. If West ends up seeing the bulk of the workload in the Kansas City backfield, he's got a good shot to find the end zone. And his receiving skills -- 11 receptions in 3.5 games as starter -- should leave him with a safe floor in DraftKings full point per reception format.
Chalk: TY Hilton, $5,700, at Pittsburgh Steelers
After the Steelers allowed Russell Wilson to pass for 300 yards for the first time in 16 games, many will be targeting this Steelers' secondary. Oh, and they gave up 5 passing touchdowns -- all to wide receivers. Hilton is clearly one of the top options in the Colts' offense, but there's another wide receiver in this game who could break free, becoming the better tournament play...
Pivot: Martavis Bryant, $5,600, vs Indianapolis Colts
If rostering a wide receiver catching passes from Matt Hasselbeck makes you throw up a little in your mouth, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Bryant has now scored in five of the six games he’s played this season. And, with Antonio Brown getting the Vontae Davis treatment, he may see a huge uptick from his 9.2 targets per game (18th in the league). Give me all the Martavis Bryant -- a guy playing within an offense that has a high implied team total -- in my tournaments this week.
Chalk: Greg Olsen, $6,400, at New Orleans Saints
I’m not going to lie, this will be a tough one to fade. The Saints are currently allowing the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, and Greg Olsen has been looking like a stud tight end all year. However, if the last two weeks have shown us anything, it’s that sometimes the most obvious, chalky plays of all sometime just do not hit. This could be one of those cases, and fading chalk can oftentimes win tournaments.
Pivot: Travis Kelce, $4,700, at Oakland Raiders
Kelce has been a bit of a forgotten man. He hasn’t been putting up video game like stats this season like many predicted, but he's been getting a lot of targets and has been relatively steady.
Kelce has now seen at least 6 targets in 9 straight games. He's facing a Raiders defense that transformed Gary Barnidge and Crockett Gillmore into household names. Seriously, though, this Raiders defense is bad against tight ends, having allowed a touchdown to the position in 9 of 11 games this season.